California

California Cycling Camp

Solvang wine country getaway
Guest Reviews 5
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  • From $3875
  • Location Ballard, CA
  • Duration 6 Days / 5 Nights
  • Rider Level 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Explore vast landscapes of rolling vineyards and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and incredible wine in Santa Ynez Valley.

If combining extraordinary local food, wine and cycling sounds like the perfect vacation, this escape to Santa Barbara wine country is meant for you! Start every day with a healthy breakfast at the charming Ballard Inn & Gathering Table before setting out to explore the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley on two wheels, supported by The Cycling House guides. Each guided, supported ride boasts its own unique beauty – from an epic climb up the iconic Mount Gibraltar to a rolling journey toward the Pacific Ocean to quiet rides through wine country towns. You’ll love this trip’s variety and alluring routine: eat, ride, eat, drink wine, sleep.

Highlights

  • Relax at the charming 15-room Ballard Inn & Gathering Table in the Santa Ynez Valley
  • Meander through rolling rural roads dotted with horse ranches, vineyards, and mountains, led by The Cycling House guides
  • Enjoy homemade, family-style picnic lunches after rides
  • Climb Mount Gibraltar, featured in the Tour of California
  • Taste the fresh, seasonal food on-site and at our favorite local restaurants
  • Sample the spectacular local varietals of this down-to-earth wine region
Cycling House Solvang California bike trip
Cycling House Solvang California bike trip

Food

The Santa Ynez Valley is both a thriving wine country destination and a culinary hot spot. Throughout the trip, you’ll get to taste the innovative cuisine of this bountiful California region. You’ll be treated to a nourishing pre-ride breakfast, and the Cycling House’s talented guides will prepare a delicous picnic lunch. Dinners include meals made by the Ballard Inn’s award-winning chef Budi Kazali, as well as evenings out at our favorite local restaurants.

Accommodations

Your home for the week is the award-winning Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, an inviting 15-room hotel with the cozy-yet-sophisticated feel of a bed and breakfast. In the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, the Ballard Inn serves as the perfect base for exploring nearby climbs, canyons and cute towns such as Solvang, Los Olivos and Buellton. After a day in the saddle, sit back and relax with a glass of wine on the wraparound porch before enjoying dinner at the intimate 12-table restaurant.

ITINERARY

Riders who fly into Santa Barbara (SBA) will be shuttled to the Ballard Inn. Upon arrival, we will have lunch served at the staff house, where we’ll also build bikes and fit rentals to get ready for an afternoon spin (official check-in at The Ballard Inn is not until 4 p.m.). We’ll go on a mellow 20- or 30-mile cruise through the vineyards and ranchlands of the Santa Ynez Valley and do a pre-camp briefing before dinner at the Ballard Inn’s on-site Gathering Table restaurant.

Today’s Ride:

Arrival Spin in Ballard: 30 miles, ~1,500 feet of climbing, ~2 hours

Most queen stages are defined by a significant climb but do not let our Jalama beach route fool you. It is an epic route! This ride will be an endurance challenge with great climbs and lonely country roads. The Long Option starts at The Ballard Inn, and the shorter option shuttles the first 24 miles of the ride to the junction of iconic Highway 1. Once we turn towards Jalama Beach, we have another 14 miles to the Pacific Ocean and Jalama Beach. The secluded beach sits on the rugged coastline and has a small restaurant known for the Jalama Burger. The support van will have snacks to fuel us up before retracing our route back to Highway 1. Once reaching the highway, we will turn left towards Lompoc before heading onto Santa Rosa Road. This stretch of road is full of agriculture and vineyards. Before returning to Ballard, the final miles will bring us through Buellton and Solvang.

Today’s Ride:

Jalama Beach: 62-85 miles, 4,500- 5,500 feet of climbing, ~5+ hours

Mount Gibraltar is a challenge! The ride has steeper pitches, amazing views, and fun descents; it’s been used in the Tour Of California. The climbing starts after 10 miles; the bulk of the climb comes in a 10-mile stretch gaining 3,500’ at an average grade of 6.2%. We have an option to do a nice out-and-back along the ridgeline of the Santa Ynez mountains to extend the ride. We still have more climbing once you crest the ridgeline, but the descents offer a great reward.  We will finish up and have a short shuttle to Cold Springs Tavern for lunch before shuttling back to the Ballard Inn.

Today’s Ride:

Mount Gibraltar: 28-41+ miles, 4,700-6,100′, ~3+ hours

An easy valley spin is welcomed by most after a couple of solid days of riding. The route will include a coffee shop stop in Santa Ynez at The Bakers Table. Don’t worry we can always add miles :)

Today’s ride options:

Recovery Ride: 30 miles, 1,400 feet of climbing, ~2+hours

 

 

The Canyons ride has something for everyone: rolling hills, quiet roads, and plenty of vineyards and open spaces.  The route follows the wine trail North of Los Olivos on Foxen Canyon and climbs up Firestone hill, which offers an expansive view of the valley.  At Sisquoc, we head up Tepusquet and begin to gradually climb on a beautiful quiet road. At the top of the climb, guests can decide whether they want to drop down the backside of Tepusquet and turn around at highway 166. The descent is lovely, it feels like a European descent with many hairpin turns and very low traffic. The climb up the backside is slightly over 5 miles gaining 1,100’ and is a 5.5% average grade. From there, it’s a net loss as we follow the same route back to Fess Parker. The two rides above start and finish at Fess Parker Vineyard, if guests are looking for additional miles, we will have an option to start at The Ballard Inn. This option adds 8 miles and 800’.  All riders will finish at Fess Parker, and guests can do wine tasting post lunch or grab a bottle of wine to enjoy with lunch.

Today’s ride:

Foxen Canyon: The route options range from 48-58 miles, with 3,000–4,500′ , ~3-5+ hours

We’ll say goodbye to The Ballard Inn and shuttle riders back to Santa Barbara for departures. Checkout is 11 a.m. 

Shuttles to Santa Barbara in the morning. Checkout is 11 a.m.

DATES & PRICES

DETAILS

What's Included

  • 5 nights accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Airport transfers to/from Santa Barbara International Airport (SBA)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Afternoon appetizers and wine
  • Mechanical support (including bike build and breakdown)
  • Professional trip guides
  • Daily sag support
  • Ride nutrition products
  • High-quality ride photos
  • Question about COVID-19 and what we’re doing to keep our guides and guests healthy and travel responsibly? Check out this article or contact us.

What's Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Bike rentals
  • Gratuity for guides
  • Mid-ride café stops
  • Personal shopping 
  • Massage therapy
  • Single occupancy (+$)

Optional Activities

  • Wine tasting
  • Core/stretching sessions
  • Hiking/trail running

Questions?

Have more questions? View our FAQ page or call us at 406-312-5770.
SEE ALL FAQs

BIKE OPTIONS

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Rent A Bike

Traveling through the airport with a bike—and paying for it to fly—is not everyone’s idea of a fun way to start a vacation. Fortunately, we offer high-quality, full carbon bikes on all of our trips across the United States and Europe. Want to just show up and ride? Just bring your shoes, pedals, helmet, and saddle (if you want), and rent one of ours.

Available this trip:
Cervelo Aspero 2021-Tucson Rental Bike
Cervelo Aspero Road/Gravel Bike
Manufacturer: Cervelo
Type: Gravel Bike
Cost: $300 / trip
Giant Roam E-Bike
Manufacturer: Giant Roam E+GTS
Type: Road
Cost: $300 / trip
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Bring Your Own

Your bike is yours—we get it. Bringing your own bike has obvious advantages in terms of individual comfort. Before your trip, we suggest getting a tune-up at your local bike shop so it’s ready to roll for your week of riding. Once you arrive, we’ll be sure to have our mechanics build it and help with any necessary tweaks. Check out some helpful resources here:

Shipping your bike

Flying with your bike.

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Skip The Bike

If you or your travel partner want to enjoy the trip and explore a new destination without a bike, drop us a line and we’ll discuss options. Some trips are better suited for non-rider participants than others.

TRIP TEAM

GUEST REVIEWS

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George F., Potomac, MD
April 5, 2019
Fantastic trip. Great rides, excellent food, guides were always very positive. Excellent.
Susan B., Saint Louis, MO
April 8, 2019
Fantastic trip! Great rides, food, wine, people on the trip. The guides were excellent as always. How they deal with many different levels and perspectives is a gift! Always a pleasure with the Cycling House. I will be back soon.
Show All Reviews
George F., Potomac, MD
April 5, 2019
Fantastic trip. Great rides, excellent food, guides were always very positive. Excellent.
Susan B., Saint Louis, MO
April 8, 2019
Fantastic trip! Great rides, food, wine, people on the trip. The guides were excellent as always. How they deal with many different levels and perspectives is a gift! Always a pleasure with the Cycling House. I will be back soon.
Dana S., Nashville, TN
April 8, 2019
Perfect 10 and I wouldn't change a thing! Chef Hannah deserves a huge round of applause! She was amazing pulling double duty as ride guide and chef - she didn’t miss a beat.
Stephen S., Littleton, CO
April 15, 2019
Each trip that I've been on with The Cycling House has exceeded my expectations. I'm so impressed with your staff and how great they are. I appreciate how The Cycling House has ride extensions available for those that like more mile and more climbing. I'm planning on a Cycling House trip each year.
Jim D., Minneapolis, MN
April 11, 2017
This trip was amazing!